Education, Schooling, Neoliberalism, Life-Requirements, Capitalism
This paper explores the ways in which neoliberal schooling is threatening education. We define education as the development of cognitive and imaginative capacities for understanding of and critical engagement with social reality. Education opens horizons of possibility for collective and individual life-experience and activity by exposing the one-sidedness and contradictions of ruling-value systems. Schooling, by contrast, subordinates thought and imagination to the reproduction of the ruling money-value system, narrowing horizons of possibility for collective and individual life to service to the prevailing structure of power. Our paper draws on our overlapping experiences as educators, one in the university system, the other in the adult education system. In both systems, students’ life-requirement for education is subordinated to the capitalist need for compliant wage-labourers and consumers. In opposition to this instrumentalization we will present an interpretation of “real world education” as a unique form of collective work through which teachers and students construct alternatives that can serve as the guiding ideas for new projects for social and political transformation.
Noonan, Jeff and Coral, Mireille. (2015). The Tyranny of Work: Employability and the Neoliberal Assault on Education. Alternate Routes, 26, 51-73.